There are plenty of scholars and cooperativistas in Italy but my lack of Italian limits the number and quality of conversations I might have. I am particularly excited to meet two scholars who I suspect speak English because they’ve published extensively in English. Vera Zamagni is one of them. She and her husband Stephano Zamagni are famous around the world for their work on co-operatives and they are actively involved with the movement internationally, working for example in programs with John Hopkins and St Mary’s University. Vera Zamagani is a co-operative/international economist based in Emilia Romagna; she has written several books and a plethora of articles on Italian co-operatives. Of particular interest, for work available in English is the co-authored book Cooperative Enterprise: Facing the Challenge of Globalization, as well as several recent articles including Menzani and Zamagni “Italian Cooperative Networks” in Enterprise and Society, “Interpreting the Roles and Importance of Co-operative Enterprises in a Historical Perspective” in a fantastic new journal, The Journal of Entrepreneurial and Economic Diversity which publishes articles by long-term favorites mine like Johnston Birchal and Panu Kalmi.
Carlo Borzaga is the other person I am excited to meet. He is the chairman of Euricse, the European Research Institute on Co-operative and Social Enterprise that publishes data on said topics throughout Europe. Some of Borzaga’s work on social enterprises and co-operatives available in English includes The Emergence of Social Enterprise, an edited volume on social enterprise, and “Testing the Distributed Effects of Social Enterprise: the case study of Italy” as well as a chapter in The Social: International Perspectives on Solidarity Economy in which several members of the Community Economies Collective chapters including one co-authored by Julie Graham and myself.
To my great surprise, both Vera Zamagni and Carlo Borzorga responded to my emails the very next day. Zamagni said she was available to meet with me the next Wednesday or Monday and Borzorga said Friday would work for him. So, I’m headed on the fast train to Bologna to meet with Zamagni and then up to Trento to meet with Borzaga.